Could iOS7 Put and End to Spam SMS and Unwanted Calls? | DMA

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Could iOS7 Put and End to Spam SMS and Unwanted Calls?

Whilst Apple’s announcement of iOS7 focused on the new ‘flat’ design, one update went largely unnoticed. The iPhone’s new operating system has a facility to block unwanted calls or text messages. The feature can be easily accessed by simply tapping the number, and selecting the ‘Block’ feature form the menu. Will this new tool be of benefit to consumers and legitimate marketers?

In the UK, the last few years has seen an increase in unsolicited texts and calls. The DMA has been working closely with the regulators and other mobile operators to try to tackle the problem. But it’s not easy. The spammers can be very agile, frequently changing their methods, and the authorities can be very slow at responding to complaints.

So how might the new blocking feature help?

  • Many consumers have experienced multiple texts and calls from the same spammer or number. This can be the most annoying form of spam and something that the blocking feature will be able to address effectively.
  • Even when unsolicited messages use spoofed or changed numbers, the blocking option will still reduce the overall effectiveness to the spammers
  • Although there are already apps that can do a similar job, putting number blocking into the operating system will make it seamless to do and increase usage
  • Although not everyone has an iPhone, it is the single most popular handset in the UK. From apps to mobile web usage, the evidence is that iPhone users drive broader adoption. It is conceivable that similar tools will be added to other operating systems, such as Android.

Ultimately, we will need more than blocking systems to eradicate spam. From a user perspective, there needs to be tools that aid reporting to the operators and regulators. That will need to be backed up by more effective action. But in the meantime, the blocking feature is likely go some way to reducing the problem of spam.

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